Insecurity: How did we come to this spot?


ANYTIME you feel that you have seen the worst, more still come. However, these few days, it is as if the floodgate of insecurity is opened from all fronts and the bewildered people who are tired of asking the authorities to do something and save them, still do so anyway.

Last week, close to 100 people died in many communities in different attacks in Zamfara State in the North-West; a state the governor, Bello Matawalle, prefers negotiating with bandits.

In the North-West also, there is the tragedy of the killing of five students of the Greenfield University in Kaduna, who were abducted on April 20 alongside others.

In the North-East, Boko Haram has taken over Geidam Town in Yobe State. Even though they were said to have been repelled by the military, the pictures of people leaving the place are heart-breaking. It brings the images of far-flung places during wars.

Where did we get it wrong as a country that a large number of Nigerians have resorted to take arms, kill and maim without qualms? Where are the values that are supposed to be respected?

In the North-Central on Tuesday, Abagena Community, where Internally Displaced Person’s (IDPs) are camped in Makurdi Local Government Area of Benue State, was attacked by gunmen, who, according to the Benue State Government, were Fulani herdsmen. They killed seven people.

In Niger State, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello on Monday said Boko Haram had taken over some communities, displacing over 3,000 and hoisted their flag.

“I am confirming that there are Boko Haram elements here in Niger State, here in Kaure, I am confirming that they have hoisted their flags here.

“Their wives have been seized from them and forcefully attached to Boko Haram members. I just heard that they have placed their flags at Kaure, meaning they have taken over the territory,” he said.

“Sambisa is several kilometres from Abuja but Kaure is less than two hours’ drive from Abuja. So nobody is safe anymore, not even those in Abuja,” he added.

For weeks, the South-East attack is targeted at police stations, killing personnel and setting the places on fire. The house of Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State was attacked and three policemen killed.

Nineteen Fulani herdsmen were killed in Anambra State on penultimate Sunday.

In Rivers State, South-South, personnel of the police, the Customs and the Civil Defence were killed. The governor, Nyesom Wike, imposed curfew from 8pm to 6am at all entry and exit points with neighbouring states of Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Imo.

These are definitely not all.

You hear the authorities lamenting, condemning such brazen atrocities and say they are working to end insecurity, but people don’t see that as the reality of what is happening.

From experts to laymen alike, you hear that Nigeria doesn’t have enough soldiers, police, etc., our security agencies don’t have enough weapons, insurgency is not a conventional war, Boko Haram, bandits and other terrorist groups have more sophisticated weapons than the military,  security agents lack motivation because what is due to them is not given to them.

However, some question the intelligence gathering of our security agencies that so many attacks occur that they ought to know or anticipate.

Where did we get it wrong as a country that a large number of Nigerians have resorted to take arms, kill and maim without qualms? Where are the values that are supposed to be respected?

In any event, it is as if there is no ‘ownership’. The people that are supposed to speak and act are either complacent or no longer relevant in the scheme of things, so they fold their arms and complain and lament.

Some feel that they could not tell government the truth for fear of being called a government critic, so they keep quiet.

These criminals are Nigerians, they have parents and siblings. They reside among the people, even when they move to hideouts; some people still know their whereabouts.

Some blame poverty and unemployment, but many people are ravaged by poverty and are unemployed but they didn’t buy a gun, costing half a million naira or more and kill innocent people who are also victims of the system, in order to get their pound of flesh from the government or the system.

For example if you are hungry, can you enter a restaurant, eat and refuse to pay and say it was because you were hungry and it was your right? Therefore, you cannot excuse the criminal acts of kidnapping, raping and killing.

The usual greeting nowadays is, “Yaya muka ji da wannan masifar?” “How about this calamity?” Then you go ahead and start narrating the latest round of the calamity, praying against such evil acts and looking up to the government to pull you back from this spot.


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